In a competitive environment where companies are jostling for position to prove their eco-friendly bonafides, it’s important for consumers—and that includes spa owners themselves—to look at brands’ claims with a critical eye.
“When we studied the market, because it’s really been flooded in the last few years, we realized that a lot of companies were claiming things that aren’t typically in nail formulas, like parabens or fragrances,” says SpaRitual’s Shel Pink. Instead of fact-checking, though, SpaRitual chose to use its platform as a teaching tool. “We decided to say, ‘OK, we’re free of all those things too,’ and then when we have the opportunity, explain that a lot of these ingredients you wouldn’t typically find in nail-lacquer formulas anyway.”
It would be easy to presume that rival brands were boasting in bad faith, but Pink prefers the positive take. “It’s become a little bit of one-upmanship,” she says, “but overall, the big picture is that everyone is just trying to push the conversation forward. It’s fantastic that the demand is there, finally.” With all this green-beauty talk, it’s easy to go overboard, but owners and formulators shouldn’t lump all synthetics together.
“Remember, natural is not always best—both natural and synthetic ingredients can be questionable and even toxic,” says Synergie Skin’s Terri Vinson. “If a particular ingredient is a laboratory-made synthetic—say, peptides to minimize the appearance of wrinkles—and doesn’t present as a questionable or potentially toxic ingredient, then it is, in my opinion, a perfectly valid addition to a product.”